WATERVILLE — A crane Wednesday morning plucked the top section of “The Ticonic” sculpture on The Concourse off its post and lowered it onto a flatbed trailer, on which it was hauled off to the Public Works Department for safekeeping until it is moved again next week to the site of a future $1.5 million RiverWalk at Head of Falls.

The Cote Corp., of Auburn, and the city’s Public Works Department performed the removal. On May 3, they plan to move the remaining part of the sculpture, which consists of a post and a base, to Head of Falls, where the sculpture will be reassembled and have a permanent home.

Installed Nov. 13, 1997, on The Concourse, “The Ticonic” was designed and built by sculptor Roger Majorowicz in his North Whitefield Studio. Majorowicz spoke at a dedication ceremony the day after it was installed. He died in 2014 at 83.

The city paid $80,000 for the sculpture, which was installed as part of a revitalization of The Concourse. “Ticonic,” in Abenaki, means “a place to cross,” and part of the sculpture represents the falls on the Kennebec River at what is known as Head of Falls, off Front Street near the Two Cent Bridge.

The City Council recently voted to spend up to $15,000 to move the sculpture.

At the time he was building it, Majorowicz said that after studying and researching Waterville, he chose to compose a work of abstract forms to symbolize the importance of the city. Majorowicz at the time said it is 33 feet high and 8.5 feet wide and weighs about 4,000 pounds above its base. It is made of stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, steel, granite and concrete.

“I found Waterville to be a ‘hub city,’ central to the state of Maine,” Majorowicz wrote at the time as part of a description of the sculpture. “The sculpture turns on a hub turntable, inspired by the turntable of the train yards. Waterville is on the move — the geometric temple form symbolizes a city on the upswing with awareness of global concern (the pylon thrust form). Within the composition, the large diagonal form represents the water falls, the three wheels were inspired by the history of trains in Waterville. The three vertical pole forms might remind you of the stacks from the paper mills. I have selected an all over silver finish and surface treatment to represent the swirling movement of water in the river and falls. The sunlight on these forms should reflect much as sunlight on water. My intent was to unify these forms into a provocative composition to stimulate the eye and mind and be special and unique to the city of Waterville — a modern, moving city.”

Just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, Ben Lavigne, a crane and rigger specialist for The Cote Corp. was on The Concourse with a crane, and public works employees began the process of removing the top of the sculpture.

Mike Folsom, facility maintenance technician for public works, was in a bucket that was raised next to the sculpture’s top. He attached slings to it, loosened bolts that held it to the post, and made sure the slings were placed appropriately so the structure was balanced and would not slide out of them as it was being moved.

Karl Morse, superintendent of public works, said the remaining part of the sculpture to be moved May 3 would require a larger crane. The post goes down about 8 feet into the ground, he said.

Morse said that when the sculpture is put back together at Head of Falls, the top part is supposed to turn with the wind.

“That is definitely the intent — to have this turn, just like it has the last 20 years,” he said.

He and Public Works Director Mark Turner said the crew had hoped to move the rest of the sculpture Thursday, but the weather is forcing a postponement until May 3. Morse said at least an inch of rain is expected this week.

Meanwhile, Turner acknowledged that moving the top part of the sculpture was tricky.

“The more you look at it, the more complex it appears for moving it,” he said. “The challenge becomes more acute because of the sharp angles of the design.”

City Manager Michael Roy said the city is planning to hold a sculpture re-dedication ceremony at Head of Falls sometime after it is moved. Public works employees Dan Wilson, Brian Ames and Dan Main also worked on the effort Wednesday.

The RiverWalk project is scheduled to start soon. It will include a 900-foot boardwalk along the river, a gazebo, a large children’s play area, art installations and landscaping and is expected to be completed in September.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.